The mission of the Craven Arts Council & Gallery is to create an environment where the arts thrive, bring joy, and enrich the cultural experience in our community.
Founded in 1974 as a volunteer organization to promote countywide cultural initiatives, the Craven Community Arts Council merged in the 1980s with the New Bern Art Gallery to become the Craven Arts Council & Gallery. Located in a former bank building donated by First Citizens Bank, the building is known as The Bank of the Arts.
Programs of exhibitions and concerts in the gallery and in the community are provided in partnership with other organizations, including Tryon Palace, Craven County Schools, Havelock Cultural Arts Committee, Twin Rivers Artists' Association and other art group.
Craven Arts Council & Gallery serves as a cultural resource for the community and school system. The Council continues to offer a variety of artistic expressions to the community and surrounding schools in the form of classes, exhibitions and concerts of regional and national artists. The Bank of the Arts also serves as a ticket sales center for other arts agencies' cultural events. Countywide programming includes sub-grants to diverse cultural arts groups through funding from the North Carolina Arts Council.